What Can I Do With a Graduate Degree in Psychology?

A graduate degree in psychology can make it possible for a person to work in a number of fields and specialties that can be financially lucrative and personally fulfilling. Schools offering Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

A Glance at a Few Careers for a Graduate Degree in Psychology

Mental Health Counselor

The job of a mental health counselor is to give psychological and emotional guidance to individuals, families, and groups experiencing issues that are having a negative effect on their mental health. Some common issues include substance abuse, anger management, depression, and relationship problems, among many others. Mental health counselors require a deep knowledge of psychological research and treatment techniques as well as experience working with a diverse group of personality types.

Non-Profit Program Director

A program director for non-profit organizations is charged with the responsibilities of developing the organization's programs and overseeing their implementation. Specific duties can include coordinating different program committees, making budgets, and keeping the organization on task to meet its objectives. A graduate degree in psychology will provide the knowledge a program director needs to motivate subordinates, successfully raise funds, and work with individuals in the community they serve.

Human Resources Manager

Human resources managers will be tasked with overseeing employee relations in a business or organization. Specifically, they will create the processes and interviewing techniques for hiring new employees, design and maintain training programs, and use evaluations to help maintain employee well-being and job satisfaction. Advanced research skills and thorough knowledge of human psychology is a must.

Market Research Analyst

A market research analyst has the job of studying the market in which a product or company is competing and making the recommendations necessary for success. This is a career where a graduate degree holder in psychology can flourish due to its reliance on creating methods of data collection, devising questions to discover the mindset of consumers and the market, and making a sound analysis of the information collected. This analysis then goes into the products a company creates as well as the marketing materials used to sell those products.

Education Consultant

Education consultants work as advisors in the creation of curriculum for schools, school systems, and teachers. These are typically independent contractors. Some of the responsibilities of an education consultant include observing the ways teachers work with the children in their classes, analyzing data from testing, making reports, and training staff. Some consultants may work with parents and individual students to prepare them for admission to elite private schools and universities. The ability to evaluate the psychology of students and teachers through research and observation, communicate effectively, and manage people are important skills for an education consultant to possess, so the job is ideally suited to those with a graduate degree in psychology.

Criminal Researcher

A criminal researcher has the ability to collect data from a crime scene and analyze statistics of criminal activity to help law enforcement solve and prosecute crimes. It is a career that typically requires a graduate-level degree in the specialization of forensic psychology. Some of the tasks a criminal researcher may find themselves performing include interviewing criminal suspects, victims, and family members of both; creating theories to help solve a crime; and creating a profile of possible unidentified suspects.

Behavioral Therapist

A career in behavioral therapy will have the holder of a graduate degree in psychology helping children and adults to overcome negative behavior caused by various disorders. The work they do could be in one-on-one sessions, group therapy, or a combination of both. Some of the issues dealt with will include depression, chemical dependency issues, and eating disorders, among a host of many others. A behavioral therapist's working environment can be in hospitals, community centers, rehab clinics, and group homes.

Jury Consultant

When attorneys are making choices from a jury pool before a trial, they often need the help of a jury consultant. A jury consultant will use their ability to conduct quantitative psychological research and interviews to fulfill this advisory role. However, the job doesn't end after jury selection. In many cases the consultant will stay during the trial to continue observing the jury and make suggestions based on what they see and hear.

Job Title Median Salary Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Mental Health Counselor $41,264 (2019)** 22% (substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors)
Non-Profit Program Director $51,475 (2017)** 13% (social and community services managers)
Human Resources Manager $113,300 (2018)* 7%
Market Research Analyst $63,120 (2018)* 20%
Education Consultant $65,285 (2019)** 6% (instructional coordinators)
Criminal Researcher $50,868 (2019)** 14% (all psychologists)
Behavioral Therapist $38,539 (2019)*** 22% (substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors)
Jury Consultant $60,028 (2019)**** 14% (all psychologists)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com, ***Glassdoor.com, ****ziprecruiter.com

Having a graduate degree in psychology qualifies the possessor to work in a wide variety of careers. Some of the fields in which they might find themselves employed include the justice system, law enforcement, psychological therapy and rehabilitation, and education.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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  • Capella University

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  • Liberty University

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  • Northcentral University

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  • Purdue University Global

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  • Walden University

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  • Regent University

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  • The Chicago School

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Colorado Christian University

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